Gov. Mike Beebe has declared that the Arkansas flag be lowered Saturday in honor of the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which a month later sparked World War I.
Beebe said in a Thursday proclamation that flags should be dropped to half-staff in tribute to the 1914-1918 fighting that involved as many as 65 million soldiers from 15 nations, leaving more than 8.5 million soldiers dead.
“The War changed governments in Germany and Austria — as well as in Russia, whose revolution created the Soviet Union,” the proclamation states.
The war, known at the time as the Great War and the War to End All Wars, was touched off by the June 28, 1914, assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The U.S. joined the European-centered conflict April 6, 1917.